Libertarian presidential candidate Bob Barr has crashed the Republican convention.
Tales from the Trail
SCRANTON, Pennsylvania – Democratic vice presidential nominee Joe Biden told his boyhood companions that Barack Obama would have been one of their friends, if he had been around when they were growing up.
MONACA, Pennsylvania – Barack Obama distanced himself on Friday from his campaign’s initially critical statement about his rival John McCain’s choice of first-term Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as his vice presidential running mate.
McCain, a 72-year-old veteran Republican senator from Arizona, picked a political unknown and self-described “hockey mom” who will become the first woman Republican vice presidential candidate.
When the surprise decision was announced, Obama was on the tarmac at a Denver airport preparing to depart for a bus tour in the industrial Midwest with his running mate, Joe Biden. The Democratic candidate had just made history by becoming the first black to accept a major-party presidential nomination.
His spokesman, Bill Burton, issued a statement suggesting Palin was too inexperienced to be vice president. “Today, John McCain put the former mayor of a town of 9,000 with zero foreign policy experience a heartbeat away from the presidency,” it said.
The McCain campaign quickly shot back that it was “audacious” for aides to the 47-year-old first-term Illinois senator to accuse Palin of inexperience.
Later in the day, Obama told reporters that the campaign’s early statement was “hair-trigger” and did not reflect his sentiments.
“I haven’t met her before. She seems like a compelling person. Obviously, a terrific story, personal story,” he said while touring a biodiesel plant in Monaca, Pennsylvania.
Obama said the choice of Palin was “one more indicator of this country moving forward” and a hit against the glass ceiling that has limited women’s advancement.
In a phone call to Palin, Obama told her he thought she would be a terrific candidate and wished her luck “but not too much luck,” according to Robert Gibbs, his senior adviser.
LYNCHBURG, Virginia – Democrat Barack Obama scolded Russia again on Wednesday for invading another country’s sovereign territory while adding a new twist: the United States, he said, should set a better example on that front, too.
SACRAMENTO – Nothing like starting your vacation with an international crisis.
Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama was Hawaii bound when it became clear he needed to make a public statement about the outbreak of violence between Georgia and Russia — as rival John McCain had already done — or risk looking out of touch.
Arrangements were hastily made for a quick press conference during a refueling stop in Sacramento.
American flags were found for a backdrop and Obama came into the small room to make his statement, still dressed in khakis, a black polo shirt and a light jacket.
“This is a volatile situation,” he said. “Obviously we’ll be getting updated on a regular basis. But what is clear is that Russia has invaded Georgia’s sovereignty … has encroached on Georgia’s sovereignty, and it is very important for us to resolve this issue as quickly as possible.”
The Illinois senator still intends to duck out of the spotlight in the next week, but Friday was not the day to keep quiet.
WASHINGTON – Barack Obama thinks John McCain is losing his credibility as a maverick.
Sure, the Arizona Republican has sometimes refused to go along with his party. Sure, he has occasionally cussed out Senate colleagues. And, yes, the word “maverick” is regularly attached to his name in the media.
But that was before McCain became the Republican presidential candidate. Now, Obama says, he has started changing his positions to please the party.
“That doesn’t exactly meet my definition of a maverick,” the Democratic presidential candidate told supporters in Indiana this week.
“You can’t be a maverick when politically it’s working for you and not a maverick when it doesn’t work for you,” Obama said.
The Illinois senator began taking jabs at McCain’s maverick image after suffering a week of taunts and insults from the Arizona senator’s campaign. McCain’s aides ridiculed Obama as a celebrity and accused of him injecting race into the campaign.
With some polls showing McCain gaining ground and the two candidates in a virtual tie, Obama is fighting back with his own negative attacks.
He has rolled out speeches and an ad challenging McCain’s maverick image, ridiculing a recent TV spot that touted the Arizona senator as “the original maverick.”
Barack Obama’s soaring rhetoric on the campaign trail has given rival John McCain yet another epiphany.
Not only is Democratic presidential candidate the most popular celebrity in the world, not only has he injected race into the election, but he also must think he’s some sort of political messiah.
That’s the message the Arizona Republican put in a new video sent to his supporters.
“It shall be known that in 2008 the world will be blessed. They will call him The One,” the announcer intones in a voice of reverential authority.
The text of the one minute, 14 second video strings together phrases and pictures loaded with religious imagery and uses them to ridicule lines from Obama’s high-flying speeches.
“A light will shine down from somewhere. It will light upon you. You will experience an epiphany and you will say to yourself, ‘I have to vote for Barack’,” Obama says.
In case you missed the point, McCain trots out Republican icon Charlton Heston in his role as Moses in the epic movie “The Ten Commandments.”
“Behold His mighty hand,” Heston shouts. And as the actor raises his staff to part the waters of the Red Sea, Obama’s presidential-style seal comes swirling through the waves while a chant of “O-ba-ma! O-ba-ma!” swells in the background.
The video comes at the end of a week in which McCain has turned to negative attacks and ridicule in an effort to blunt Obama’s advantage in the polls for the Nov. 4 election. McCain’s campaign accused Obama of injecting race into the campaign and said he was attention-grabbing celebrity, more popular even than Britney Spears and Paris Hilton.